Café Procope

Updated Tuesday 19th June 2007

An introduction to the Café Procope

Cafe Procope's location Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team

Cafe Procope, Paris Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

This is the oldest café in Paris. It originated in 1686 when it opened as a coffee-shop. The café was close to the then theatre of Paris, contributing to its popularity. It soon became a meeting place for people of ideas and letters, becoming the first literary coffee-shop.

For more than two centuries anyone of any renown in the world of arts, literature or politics, could be found here. The reputation of French intellectuals for discussion and debate is still in evidence and current generations still meet here to talk about their concerns, ideas and plans, attracting a mix of writers and journalists, university professors, businessmen and tourists.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Episode one: Coffee Shop Hot Shots Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Episode one: Coffee Shop Hot Shots

Just how did we became so obsessed with coffee shops and how do the brands battle for our custom?

Concièrgerie prison Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Concièrgerie prison

An introduction to the Concièrgerie, one of the most famous sites in Parisian history

Beginners’ French: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Ian Shaw/Alamy. free course icon Level 1 icon


Beginners’ French: food and drink

Improve your language skills by learning to communicate more easily and effectively in French. In this free course, Beginners' French: Food and drink, you will also gain an insight into French societies and cultures through focusing on food and drink. You will listen to French speakers in a variety of situations, and you will be provided with some skills for coping with reading texts.

Free course
5 hrs
Talking languages podcast Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team audio icon


Talking languages podcast

We talk to experts, teachers and students about languages and language learning. Whatever your background and knowledge, if you’re interested in languages this monthly podcast is for you.

30 mins
Speak in colours! Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon


Speak in colours!

What does 'rire jaune' or 'avoir un bleu' mean? Learn French idioms that use colour to convey a particular mood or impression of a person or situation. 

Le Grand Véfour Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Le Grand Véfour

An introduction to the Le Grand Véfour restaurant

Restaurant Lapérouse Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Restaurant Lapérouse

An introduction to the Restaurant Lapérouse

Star Wars: La syntaxe du français avec Maître Yoda activity icon


Star Wars: La syntaxe du français avec Maître Yoda

How does a 900 year-old Jedi master sound in French? Try your hand at reordering sentences, you must.

French: En ville Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon


French: En ville

This free course, French: En ville, helps you to acquire the basic language to find your way around a French town. You will learn how to understand and give directions, ask about accommodation, book a hotel room at the tourist information office and get information about what to see and do in the local area. You will visit some museums in Avignon and buy a film for your camera. The course also deals with telling the time and making liaisons in speech. By the end of the course, you will feel more confident understanding and giving information about towns, seeking clarification and dealing with numbers. You will also have developed your oral fluency and your reading skills.

Free course
15 hrs